The Life In Syria A story explained by data


When people are asked about Syria, the first thing they think about is the horrendous civil war. They think about how so many people are struggling to escape Syria, all the refugees that have escaped Syria, but are struggling to live in other countries, and all the other warfare affects from war. Unfortunately, we cannot say that these people are completely wrong. While there is a lot more to Syria than we see, majority of the life there, is affected by war.

In the video above, we can see how scenery from Syria looks like from a different perspective. This Syria is a lot different from the constantly in war Syria that we see on the news.

Facts, facts, facts...

  • Continent: Asia
  • Population: 22.85 million (2013)
  • Population Density: 120.7 (2014)
  • Main Issue: Lack of Safety

What War?

Before we start explaining the statistical affects of the war, it would most likely be beneficial to have some background knowledge about what war is going on in Syria and why that might alter the life there.

A Quick recount

  1. In February 2011, the government was receiving many anti-government demonstration because the people wanted a change from the family who had ruled for thirty years.
  2. Soon, a group of children were arrested and tortured for scrawling graffiti on a school as an anti-government demonstration.
  3. In March of 2011, Syrians protested in cities across the country, demanding the government to free the children. The government instead forced fire on the people, killing dozens proving that unlike Canada where the people trust the government, are allowed to have protests, vote for leaders, and speak our minds, Syrians live a very insecure.
  4. Eventually, the army forces of Syria stopped working, because they couldn't stand hurting the people they promised to protect.
  5. Instead, they created a Free Syrian Army that aimed to topped the regime. This is when the full on war began.
  6. Eventually, ISIS took advantage of the situation and other countries got involved.

The Affect on the Life of Syrians

1. Life Expectancy

Life expectancy measures the average time a person would live for based on the life in a society. Syria has had a drastic change in their life expectancy over the past 20 years. It had dropped recently and this may be due to the fact that Syria would be defined as an unsafe place to be. Terrorist groups and different armies have been planning more attacks causing the people there to die out faster and earlier. The environment of Syria also has changed negatively and has the economy has also been declining as even doctors and healthcare has minimized causing more people to die.

2. Human Development Index

The HDI Values/Scores represent statistics from life expectancy, education, and GNI per capita income indicators. These are all used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. The HDI scores for Syria have increased a by a generous amount in duration of the 19 years. Near the 2000's the HDI scores raised which could have a connection with the creation of the internet because it was public and people were able to use it as a resource. This could help further advance healthcare with more in depth research which can extend life expectancy. The internet would also be able to use it as a helping tool for learning in classrooms. However, after 2011, when the war had begun, it is evident that HDI scores of Syria had decreased. This means the life expectancy, education, and GNI per capita all decreased, which can be assumed were affected by the war. For example, warfare can damage buildings, hurt people, and make it almost impossible to run businesses without interference or fear.

3. Population Densities

The population density is measured by taking the measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. Its a quantity type of data that represents density which is applied to living organisms and humans living in an area. The Syrian population density has gone up over time which means more people are being born, moving, and growing in general. After the war began, more diseases were left untreated from Syria having less workers to run proper healthcare and economic balance was lost, leaving many people unemployed. When the war got worse in 2014, the population dramatically dropped because more people were dying causing it to decrease and many people were leaving as refugees.

4. Military Expenditure % of GDP

The money that was spent for the military was dramatically larger in the 1990's to the 2000's. Near the 2000's to 2010 the data had dropped by a substantial amount. During this time the war was about to start, this meant all the money that was going to be spent on the army had stopped being tracked and published regularly. In 2010, the military expenditure money went down by a lot because the Syrian army had stopped working for the government. The graph is only plotted until 2010 because during 2011 and on going the war had started. The money that was spent would be private because it was no longer being controlled and collected by the nation.

5. GNI Per Capita

The GNI was at a study level from the 1990's till 2010. During that time period, people were making a good income for businesses and money from any product taxes. So what happened in 2010 that made the GNI decrease so much? During 2011, one year later the war had begun. This meant money that many men were making now stopped. They didn't have another income because they had left for the war. The women may have made some income but most women stay home to watch their family while their spouse would leave. Although another factor was that most of the population left the country. No one wanted to stay somewhere where war the war was happening. This caused many schools and business to close down because they could not afford to keep open if the population and demand wasn't there.

6. AMount of CO2 released

The C02 release for was at an average amount in the 1990 till 2010. The amount of carbon dioxide release in the air can potentially affect the health of people. Carbon dioxide is colourless, odourless and non-poisonous, so this doesn't instantly affect someone's health. Although carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas, which can cause many health and environmental problems. So why the sudden increase in CO2 release? It may be because the of the current war in Syria. Gunpowder is being used by a lot of the government or army for the use in battle. These resources and other warfare items can contribute to the amount of C02 release.

Next Steps?

Now that we know how life in Syria is like, we can identify the main problem there: lack of safety. We can also draw conclusions and figure out how to help and solve the problem, which is one of the main reasons to collect data. Here are some things different groups of people can do to help.

Non government organizations

Non government organizations, such as the International Rescue Committee, have set many goals that they are trying their best to achieve. All of those goals help them create a better environment in Syria. They have and should continue to partner with medical groups to ensure the uninterrupted flow of medicines, supplies, and equipment, support clinics to deliver primary care, trauma services, reproductive health care, and dialysis. They supply thousands of displaced people with clothing and emergency supplies, as well as running protection services, and creating safe spaces for female violence victims. NGOs provide emergency cash assistance to help families meet their immediate needs, build households’ economic stability with job training and small business support. All of these things work together to mitigate the effect of the war on the people and improve their stability in the unsafe situation.

the government

Governments around the world can help Syria by accepting more refugees from the United Nations and letting them help with the Nation’s labor as their job. They can speed up that existing process and even allow other ways to come to Canada besides having a refugee title, such as a temporary residence or marital status. Lastly, the government should do their ultimate best to help a nation in need by raising awareness and sending money, as well as help, not in the form of soldiers. Instead, they should send medical assistance, therapists, translators, and even people who can help construct shelters.

Society (people)

People who are willing to spread some kindness and compassion to their fellow human beings, can do a number of things. They can can start their own fundraising campaign, and then donate all of the proceeds to an NGO, such as the International Rescue Committee. People can give a “Rescue Gift”, which are symbolic gifts at a cheap price for us that will allow happiness in one area of a person’s life. Whether it be paying for a year of school, clean water, warm blankets, or four temporary shelters, small budgets can help massively for numerous families. Many can “adopt” a child in Syria, and all they have to do is send the small amount of money that child needs to survive every month. Specifically for safety, providing money for shelter is especially important.You can even sign a petition, read the people dealing with the crisis’ stories, share those stories, send a letter to a refugee to show that you care, support a business they are trying to run, help them with legal support, and just donate, donate, and donate some more.


Corps, Mercy. Behind Them, a Homeland in Ruins: The Youth of Europe’s Refugee Crisis. Rep. Portland: Mercy Corps, n.d. Mercy Corps. Web. 20 Jan. 2017. <'s%20Refugee%20Crisis%20Report_0.pdf>.

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IRC. "Syria." International Rescue Committee (IRC). International Rescue Committee (IRC), n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Military expenditure (% of GDP) in Syria." Military expenditure (% of GDP) in Syria. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2017. <>.

"Population density (people per sq. km) in Syria." Population density (people per sq. km) in Syria. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2017. <>.

"Syria: The story of the conflict." BBC News. BBC, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 04 Mar. 2017. <>.

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Hana Rehman

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